Monday, July 20, 2009

France in Bloom

France in June is a magnificent rainbow of color ~ poppies dot the roadside, lavender fills the air, and roses are lush with blooms! Whether it be in elegant formal gardens, rustic kitchen gardens, civic plantings, or front yards and window boxes, flowers are in abundance. It's enough to make a gardener with even half a green thumb positively swoon. This photo was taken at Langeais Castle ~ nothing like a chateau to dress up some simple daisies!

I was captivated by the poppies ~ their vibrant colors along the road side always brought a smile.

And the hydrangeas were breathtaking ~

These are the formal gardens at Chateau de Chenonceau ~ on one side there are gardens designed by Catherine de Medici, Henri II's wife, and on the other side - gardens designed by Diane de Poitiers, his mistress of long standing. Both ladies were instrumental in the design of this famous chateau.

Inside the chateaux, we found outstanding fresh flower arrangements ~

And the flowers for these arrangements typically are provided by their own kitchen gardens, which provide a wondrous palette of bright colors and variety of flowers ~

These are the amazing gardens at Chateau de Villandry. This first photo shows the vegetable garden, which is laid out in nine separately patterned grids, with each grid having a different geometrical design and combination of plants. This garden will be completely replanted for the summer / autumn growing season.

Still at Villandry ~ these are more of the formal gardens. See the heart designs? There are four knot gardens here - each representing a different aspect of love ~

Almost every village we visited, charming in its own right, was further graced with colorful floral displays ~

The gardens at Chateau de Valencay ~ And at Chateau de Cheverny ~

This next one requires some explanation, I guess! Every summer, Chaumont-sur-Loire hosts an international garden festival. Designers from all around the world conceive and plant a 'garden' that reflects some vision or concept of theirs - think of this as gardening modern art. This particular garden had laundry in shades of pink, lavender, and blue hanging over flowers of the same hue.

Here I am with the roses ~

And a little garden nook just perfect in its simplicity ~

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures of your travels in France. I especially loved the colorful hanging laundry.I am enjoying your blog.
    Susie, of The Polka Dot Rose